Is it safe to order garden supplies online? Although it’s wise to be concerned about package safety during quarantines, or any time you’re ordering plants online, the risk of contamination is actually very low.
The following information will help keep you and your family safe.
Is it Safe to Order Garden Supplies?
The U.S. Postal Service and the World Health Organization (WHO) have announced that there is very little risk that an infected person can contaminate commercial goods, even when the package is shipped from another country.
The chance that COVID-19 will be carried on a package is also low. Due to shipping conditions, the virus is unlikely to survive for more than a few days, and one study by the National Institutes of Health indicated the virus may survive on cardboard for no more than 24 hours.
However, your package may be handled by several people, and hopefully nobody coughed or sneezed on the package before it arrived at your house. If you’re still concerned, or if somebody in your family is in a high-risk group, there are extra steps you can take when ordering plants in the mail. It never hurts to be careful.
Handling Garden Packages Safely
Here are some precautions you should take when receiving packages:
- Wipe the package carefully with rubbing alcohol or an antibacterial wipe before opening.
- Open the package outdoors. Dispose of the packaging safely in a closed container.
- Be careful about touching other items, such as pens used to sign for the package.
- Wash your hands immediately, with soap and water, for a minimum of 20 seconds. (You can also wear gloves to pick up delivered plants in the mail).
Delivery companies take extra steps to keep their drivers, and their customers, safe. However, it’s always a good idea to allow a distance of at least 6 feet (2 m.) between yourself and delivery people. Or simply have them place the package(s) near your door or other outside area.